With more and more people finding themselves out of work due to the tough economical climate, there is an increasing number of people turning to self employment. Infact, there were almost 4.2 million people who registered as self-employed over the three months leading to April of this year, Which is a rise of 84,000 from the previous three months and the highest figure since records began in 1992, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Many of these will have opted to work from home to help reduce overhead that are incurred from renting office/workshop space. Depending on the sort of business that is set up depends on how much room you would need to sacrifice from your home, if you are lucky enough to have the spare room within your home, you won’t need to do much to set it up as an office/workshop – maybe some more worksurfaces, possibly a few extra sockets but that is probably all.
However if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to accomadate the new area within the four walls of your home, you may have an outbuilding, a shed or garage that you could convert. This may be more costly in the short term, but in the long term can be a real benefit to you, your business and your family life as it removes the temptation to “just nip into the office to do…” of an evening if you have to physically leave your house to get there.
You may need to check with your local planning office to see if you are able to convert your outbuilding into a workspace, and also contact your morgage company as some morgage contracts don’t allow for working from home. If once you have checked this you are able to go the outbuilding route, it pays to plan it out to the last detail as it will help you to keep your costs low going forward.
Think about exactly what you want to do in the workspace, how much storage you need, how much work surface, think about what appliances/machinery you may need so you can work out exactly how many power points you are likely to need, and then add a few more for good measure as you are bound to either forget something, or find new items going forward.
Look at the structure itself, is the flooring suitable? It may be worth insulating the walls/ceiling of your outbuilding to help conserve heat and reduce future heating bills. Whilst we are talking about the heating of your new workspace, it may be worth considering installing underfloor heating, these systems are incrediably cost-effective, efficient and also don’t take away potentially valuable wall space and sockets the way traditional plug in heat sources or radiators can.
Also think about the security for your business, if it was a property in town, you would install some sort of security system to protect your business premises, just because it is located in or near your home, doesn’t mean you should neglect this vital measure. High intensity security lights, and a good solid lock are the bare minimum you should have installed.
By converting an outhouse, you have all the benefits of working from home, but also the ability to “go home” from your job, ensuring that your business and home life both thrive.